Thursday, 18 March 2010

(Un) Silent Night

One of the delights of living where we do is the quietness of night.  This contrats dramatically with our last abode in New York where not only does the city never sleep, but neither do the Emergency Services vehicles with their sirens.  That being said, it has been a tad noisier than usual out here recently.

....  and I am not making any references to Denis Wilson's recent comment on this blog or his posting on the Nature of Robertson.

Instead this is about the calls of nature - no, no, more amibiguity: I mean the calls of natural things - around the Carwoola area.

The first was a call of an Eastern Barn Owl which  I heard while taking the small dog for a call of nature about 10pm on 16 March.  That was the first I have heard out here, although our friend Julienne from Hoskinstown (about 10km away to the SE as Tyto alba flies) heard one in February.  A question was asked if I had ruled out Masked Owl which I had.  To my (tin) ear the call of the Masked Owl is rather weaker (this one is from Victoria I believe).

The bird I heard seemed to be hunting along Whiskers Creek so I went down there just after dark on 17 March for a bit of playback and spotlighting.  Unfortunately the only sound I heard - still a natural one - was the whine of the local mosquito population investigating a potential meal.

Secondly while outside (for the same canine purpose) later in the evening of the 17th I heard a Tawny Frogmouth calling .  This was the classic "oom ooom" call which according to volume 4 of HANZAB is associated with territorial delimitation and or courting (so perhaps Denis's post is relevant after all??).  Either way it is good to hear it since t seems to mean our local birds are getting their act back together.

A friend from Urila (about 20km W) had asked about a call which he had heard on returning home late one evening which sounded a bit like a dove.  Another friend suggested the frogmouth and that is what it turned out to be.   So perhaps the nice weather is stirring them up?

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